Search results for: "joyce foundation"

Several weeks ago, a Chicago website reported that the Chicago Tribune, the Joyce Foundation, and the University of Chicago were engaging in “push polling.” This is a telephone poll that literally “pushes” the listener in a certain direction, with questions designed to have pre-determined conclusions.

Read the transcript. Do you think this was a push poll?

Laura Chapman explains the nature of “Education Cities,” the latest plaything of the Billionaire Boys Club!

Here is the latest reformy initiative: Education Cities!

Our dear friend Laura Chapman has deciphered what this latest disruptive program is.

She writes:

“Here is some information about Education Cities.

http://www.educationcities.org/

“It is connected to the Education Entrepreneurship Trust (CEE-Trust) launched by The Mind Trust in Indianapolis.

“Both ventures have received Gates Foundation money to push “personalized learning.”

“About Education Cities:

“FUNDERS Laura and John Arnold foundation, Michael and Susan Dell Foundation, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, and Walton Family Foundation.

“PARTNERS

“Education Cities works with leading organizations to help our members achieve their missions.”

1. “Bellwether Education Partners works with Education Cities on research and capacity building projects. Bellwether is a nonprofit dedicated to helping education organizations—in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors—become more effective in their work and achieve dramatic results, especially for high-need students.”

“In Cincinnati, Bellwether was the recruiter for the “Accelerate Great Schools,” initiative that seemed to have appeared out of nowhere, pushed by high profile local foundations and the business community—all intent on marketing the need for “high quality seats” meaning you close and open schools based on the state’s weapon-ized system of rating schools, increase charter schools, and hire TFA. (We have a TFA alum on the school board). The CEO of Accelerate Great Schools recruited by Bellwether was a TFA manager from MindTrust in Indianapolis. He lasted about 18 months and accelerated himself to a new job.

http://www.cincinnati.com/story/news/education/2017/01/24/ceo-quietly-quits-school-accelerator/96997612/

2. “Center on Reinventing Public Education (CRPE) at the University of Washington partners with Education Cities to analyze and identify policies that create the conditions that allow great schools to thrive. Through research and policy analysis, CRPE seeks ways to make public education more effective, especially for America’s disadvantaged students.”

“CRPE should be regarded as an operational arm of the Gates Foundation. It marketed the Gates “Compacts,” a make-nice-with-your-charters MOU giving district resources to charters with charters promising to share their “best practices” and other nonsense. The bait included $100,000 up front with the promise of more money to the district if they met x, y, z, terms of the memorandum of understanding. Only few districts got extra money. Many reasons, some obvious like the departure of the people who signed the MOUs.

3. “Public Impact” partners with Education Cities (and Bellwether Education Partners) on research and capacity building projects. With a mission to dramatically improve learning outcomes for all children in the United States, Public Impact concentrates its work on creating the conditions in which great schools can thrive. The Opportunity Culture initiative aims to extend the reach of excellent teaches and their teams to more students, for more pay, within recurring budgets. Public Impact, a national research and consulting firm, launched the Opportunity Culture initiative’s implementation phase in 2011, with funding from The Joyce Foundation, Carnegie Corporation of New York and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.” Current work is funded by the Overdeck Family Foundation and the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation.”

“Public Impact is marketing 13 school turnaround models, almost all of these with reassignments of teachers and students to accommodate “personalized” something. One arm of the “opportunity culture” website is a job placement service for teachers. In prior administrations Public Impact and Bellwether worked together to get USDE support for charter schools.

4. “Thomas B. Fordham Institute partners with Education Cities to analyze and identify policies and practices that create the conditions that allow great schools to thrive. The Thomas B. Fordham Institute works to advance educational excellence for every child through research, analysis, and commentary, as well as on-the-ground action and advocacy in Ohio.”

“Well, we have a pretty good idea in Ohio of how all of that pontification worked out.

“Here are the cities in the foundation-led move to eliminate democratically elected school boards and substitute public schools with contract schools that receive public funds but usually privately operated. At one time the number of Education Cities was 30, then 28, now 25.

1. Albuquerque, NM, Excellent Schools New Mexico

2. Baton Rouge, LA New Schools for Baton Rouge

3. Boise, ID Bluum

4. Boston, MA Boston Schools Fund, Empower Schools

5. Chicago, IL, New Schools for Chicago

6. Cincinnati, OH, Accelerate Great Schools

7. Denver, CO, Gates Family Foundation, Donnell-Kay Foundation

8. Detroit, MI, The Skillman Foundation

9. Indianapolis, IN, The Mind Trust

10. Kansas City, MO, Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation

11. Las Vegas, NV, Opportunity 180

12. Los Angeles, CA, Great Public Schools Now

15. Memphis, TN, Memphis Education Fund

16. Minneapolis, MN, Minnesota Comeback

17. Nashville, TN, Project Renaissance

18. New Orleans, LA, New Schools for New Orleans

19. Oakland, CA, Educate78, Great Oakland Public Schools Leadership Center, Rogers Family Foundation

20. Philadelphia, PA, Philadelphia School Partnership

21. Phoenix, AZ, New Schools for Phoenix

22. Richmond, CA, Chamberlin Family Foundation

23. Rochester, NY, E3 Rochester

24. San Jose, CA, Innovate Public Schools

25. Washington, DC, Education Forward DC, CityBridge Education

“These cities have been targeted for capture by promoters of choice, charters, tech, poaching talent and resources from public schools, and pushing the idea that established public schools are failures.”

 

Reformer groups and programs and projects pop up so often that I’m tempted to call them mushrooms, although stinkweeds would work too. I met Matt Gandal, described below, when he worked for Checker Finn at the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation. As long as the foundations keep pumping money into their hobby, there will be more mushrooms. She wrote this comment a month or so ago:

 

Laura Chapman describes the latest Reformer mushroom:

 

Meanwhile, the self-appointed members of the “Education Strategy Group” will command the National Press Club March 8 for a launch of “Level UP, Aligning for Success.”

The program will focus on “how we are collectively working to improve student preparation and increase success in postsecondary education and training,” especially “the preparation of students of color, students from low-income backgrounds and first-generation college students.”

Level Up is described as a coalition, a collaboration, and effort to provide “a playbook of high-impact strategies that K-12 and higher education leaders can collaboratively use to increase student success.”

The Founder (2012) and President of the Education Strategy Group, Matt Gandal, is not embarrassed to offer a brief resume that reveals his 20 year association with perfectly terrible policies for education. He was as a senior advisor to Secretary of Education Arne Duncan where he led the “Reform Support Network” created as an enforcement arm for compliance (implementation) of Race to the Top.

Before that job, Gandal claims to be a founder and executive vice president of Achieve—infamous for its promotion of the Common Core State Standards—and the antecedent American Diploma Project. If you have not read Common Core Dilemma: Who Owns Our Schools by Mercedes Schneider please do so. If you know the history of those bad ideas just be aware that they are not dead yet, not by a long shot. Gandal also claims to have held a leadership position in Chester Finn’s Educational Excellence Network. What more do you need to know?

Gandal ”was the author and chief architect of Making Standards Matter, an annual American Federation of Teachers report (beginning in 1992) purporting to evaluate the quality of the academic standards, assessments and accountability policies in every state. He also helped to drum up anxieties about standards in the United States in relation to other industrialized nations.

So, that is the leadership for the “Education Strategy Group.” The group functions as an advocacy shop for varied efforts to sustain the Common Core, with the attached aim of preparation for “college and career,” where career refers to workforce training.

This is a partial list of past and present “clients” for the Education Strategy Group: Delaware Department of Education, Georgia Department of Education, Maryland Department of Education, Rhode Island Governor’s Workforce Board, Indiana Department of Education, Indiana Commission for Higher Education, Ohio Department of Education, Ohio Department of Higher Education, Baltimore City Public Schools.

These are also listed as if clients: Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), National Governors Association (NGA), Partnership for the Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC), Southern Regional Education Board (SREB), American Association of State Colleges & Universities (AASCU), United States Chamber of Commerce Foundation, myFutureNC, New America.

Credits indicate support from the Charles A. Dana Center, Collaborative for Student Success; Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; Helios Education Foundation; Rodel Foundation of Delaware; J.P. Morgan Chase; Carnegie Corporation of New York; Joyce Foundation; Lumina Foundation; Abell Foundation; Strada Education Network; and Belk Foundation,

Two of the service “stories” of the Education Strategy Group focus on “The Collaborative for Student Success,” a project of the New Venture Fund. The Collaborative is also a creature of deep-pocket funding from groups unfriendly to public schools: the Bloomberg Foundation, Carnegie Corporation of New York, ExxonMobil, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and The Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation.

“The Collaborative for Student Success (CSS)” is a platform designed to reassert the general idea that standards are not high enough and they are a panacea. The CCS is also one among several non-profits (e.g., Bellwether Education Partners) that have elected to review and criticize state ESSA plans. You can see the CCS effort here with a direct link (no surprise) to the charter loving Walton funded 74 Million http://schoolimprovement.the74million.org

In other words, the National Press Club will become a forum for the launch of “Level UP, Aligning for Success.” The question is whether any one in the audience will have done enough homework to grasp this latest effort to shore up failed education policies. The National Press Club is for hire, and the launch of “Level UP, Aligning for Success” provides another venue for billionaire foundations and corporate friends to promote policies and practices that have no basis in professional wisdom. I hope members of the National Press Club will ask pointed questions about this latest PR effort to keep the the standards movement in place–a major effort to discredit public education. The link to the Walton funded 74 Million leaves no doubt about whose interests this PR campign serves.
http://edstrategy.org/level-up-launch/

 

 

 

Our reader, Laura Chapman, was interested in the sponsorship of the Education Writers Association, whose annual meeting will feature Betsy DeVos. No matter how odious her views, journalists should hear her and question her.

She wrote:

 

You have to pay $125 to attend this Education Writers Association event and do some writing on education.

It is not surprising that the Education Writers Association has selected DeVos as a major speaker. I conclude that by looking at the list of “Current Sustaining Funders”—all known for undermining public education while posturing about saving children from “underperforming schools.”

Here are the current “Sustaining Funders:”

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Carnegie Corporation of New York, The Joyce Foundation, The Kern Family Foundation, The Kresge Foundation, Lumina Foundation, Nellie Mae Education Foundation, Pritzker Children’s Initiative, The Wallace Foundation, The Walton Family Foundation, William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, William T. Grant Foundation.

The Education Writers Association also invites groups to pay for programs like this one as well as its website, newsletters, blogs, and printed programs for regional meetings. Those who foot the bill are called “Sponsors.” The list of past Sponsors is a curious mix of non-profits, for-profits, and national organizations of educators. Following is my grouping and parenthetical comments on past Sponsors of the Education Writers Association.

Membership Organizations:

American Council on Education (leaders of about 1,700 accredited, degree-granting institutions); American Federation of Teachers (about 1.7 million members, all levels of education); National Education Association (about 3 million members, all levels of education); Council of Chief State School Officers (public officials in charge of state departments of elementary and secondary education, plus the District of Columbia, Department of Defense Education, Bureau of Indian Education, and the five U.S. extra-state jurisdictions—promoters of the Common Core).

Higher Education Institutions:
California State University; National University; Stanford Graduate School of Education; Strayer University; University of Connecticut Neag School of Education; University of Chicago Urban Education Institute; University of Nevada, Las Vegas; University of Southern California.

Academic Research and Advocacy Organizations:
American Institutes for Research.org (holding company for contract researchers in the social sciences); Learning Policy Institute (academic research, President and CEO Linda Darling-Hammond)

Organizations with Megabuck Funding:
Big Picture Learning, The Met School.org (network of career high schools);
The Broad Center.org (bang-for-the-buck corporate training for leaders in education); Data Quality Campaign.org (Gates funded to promote computer-coded national database on every student, teacher, and school); EdChoice.org (promotes market-based education, not public schools);
Education Trust.org (promotes high stakes tests to expand market for charter schools, choice). Say Yes to Education, Weiss Institute.org (software and metrics for college/career readiness programs in selected communities, read by grade three, etc. Weiss’ wealth came from money management): Strada Education Network.org (postsecondary career connections with this subsidiary—Economic Modeling LLC, offering predictive analytics about labor force needs and talent pipelines);

For-Profit Ventures:
Chan Zuckerberg Initiative.com (promotes technology, data use in education); CollegeVine.com (college admission and SAT prep); GetaTutor.com (broker for online tutoring services); n2y.com (online resources special education); Pearson.com (marketer of instructional materials and tests); Scholastic.com (multinational publishing and media company in education)

Public Relations/Marketing Firms:
GMMB.com (PR firm, political messaging); HagerSharp.com (PR firm, branding and Messaging); Widmeyer Communications — A Finn Partners Company (PR firm, digital marketing);

Testing Organizations:
The College Board.org (marketer of SAT and AP tests and test-prep materials); Educational Testing Service.org (contractor/provider of tests—NAEP, GRE, PRAXIS, others)

Foundations:
American Financial Services Association Education Foundation (consumer education, especially about credit cards);
The Broad Foundation (supports the arts, medical sciences, and charter schools); Edwin Gould Foundation (helps incubate non-profits in education);
Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation (awards fellowships to emerging leaders for the academy and public service).

SPONSORSHIP FEES:
There are tiers of “sponsorship” for the website and other activities/events of the Education Writers Association. The highest fees are for website advertising— four-week purchase of announcement space options include: “Run of site – $ 5,000;
Blogs – $ 2,000;
Jobs – $ 2,000;
Events – $ 1,200;
Single overview page – $600.
For all of the advertising options the Education Writers Association “maintains editorial control over all programming and content.” https://www.ewa.org/sponsorship-info/sponsored-messaging

It would be interesting to see a timeline of the sponsors. I’d guess that the long list of “past sponsors” includes many short time and one-timers. I hope that this program will cause many sponsor to flee. Devos is menace to education.

Leonie Haimson is one of the nation’s sharpest critic of scams, especially in the area of ed-tech and online learning.

She is outraged that Chalkbeat posted an uncritical article about the scams now sold to schools. He clearly wanted to lump together the critics of Common Core (those “right wingers” [like me]) and the critics of “personalized learning,” who have the retrograde belief that children should be taught by teachers, not computers.

Pay attention to the funders of Chalkbeat (Gates; Walton; Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, and others who are pushing online learning and “personalized learning.”) They are listed at the end of this post. Don’t overlook the Anschutz Foundation. He is an evangelical Christian who produced “Waiting for ‘Superman,'” that anti-public school, anti-union propaganda film.

She writes:

Matt Barnum has posted an article at Chalkbeat on the controversy over online learning. I spent nearly an hour talking to him about its myriad problems, including the negative experiences of parents and students in schools where online learning predominates, serious privacy concerns because of all the data-mining by vendors that is involved, and a serious lack of research evidence — but the only quote he used from our conversation is one sentence: that the Parent Coalition for Student Privacy which I co-chair. has worked with allies in right-wing groups on the privacy issue.
Instead, when I spoke to him about this, I emphasized that the concerns about the expansion of online learning and its impact on privacy was shared by groups and individuals of all political persuasion, left right and center, and many parents with little interest in politics at all. That’s why our campaign against inBloom was so successful, and that’s why in NY State and elsewhere, parents and teachers in all nine states and districts that were participating were able to force them from dropping out of the program to share their children’s personal data and make it more accessible to vendors without parental consent. But he left that part out of my quote and his story as a whole, because it did not fit into his pre-ordained narrative.

Indeed, Barnum seemed eager to mischaracterize the opposition to so-called personalized learning as led by conservatives. He is also quick to frame the pushback vs Common Core in a similar fashion –as driven by many of the same right-wing groups — when one of the most successful protests against the standards occurred here in NY state, led by NY State Allies for Public Education, a coalition of mostly left-wing and politically moderate parents and teachers who also oppose the expansion of ed tech.

Barnum didn’t mention any of the other progressive groups, medical associations, and researchers across the country who are very concerned about the expansion of online learning in schools, including Screens and Kids, Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood, the ACLU, Commonsense Media, National Education Policy Center, Parents Across America, the Badass Teachers Association and many others.
Nor did he bother to interview any of the many prominent progressive critics of ed tech like Diane Ravitch, Peter Greene or Audrey Watters. Nor did he acknowledge that Silicon Valley parents themselves are increasingly rejecting computerized learning, as reported in the terrific NY Times series by Nellie Bowles.

Instead, he quotes only one non-right wing critic of online learning by name– Merrie Najimy, the President of the Massachusetts teachers – while featuring many paragraphs of rosy spin from defenders of ed tech, like Diane Tavenner of Summit and Bethany Gross of CRPE, both funded by Gates and Zuckerberg.

Barnum cites a CRPE report also paid for by Gates that apparently says, oh yeah, teachers really like personalized learning – while ignoring the survey results in our Educator Toolkit for Teacher and Student Privacy, which showed widespread concern among teachers and administrators alike about the expansion of digital apps and online programs in our schools. He also quotes Randi Weingarten who, surprisingly, has nothing but kind words about the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, which has done absolutely nothing that I can think of to earn her confidence.

Amazingly, Barnum also manages to write an entire piece about edtech and personalized learning, Summit, Gates and Zuckerberg without once mentioning the issue of data privacy, the widespread occurrence of breaches, the potential misuse of algorithms, and the over-reach of student surveillance in schools. The only mention of the word “privacy” is in the one sentence that quotes me about working with conservative allies on the issue.

Quite an achievement and yet more evidence of a serious blind spot in Chalkbeat’s education coverage, reminiscent of their failure to cover the parent opposition against inBloom that started here in New York and led to such a firestorm across the country that more than 120 state student privacy laws have been passed as a result of the inBloom controversy since 2013.

There is more to read, and you should open the link to see her many links to other articles and reports.

Chalkbeat should be ashamed. Its sponsors are showing their hands.

Here is a list of Chalkbeat funders.

Ann & Hal Logan via The Denver Foundation*
Anna and John J. Sie Foundation*
Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Foundation
Awesome Without Borders
Azita Raji and Gary Syman
Ben & Lucy Ana Walton*
Better Education Institute, Inc.
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Brett Family Foundation
Brooke Brown via the Carson Foundation*
Buell Foundation
Carnegie Corporation of New York
Carson Foundation
Chan Zuckerberg Initiative
Charles H. Revson Foundation
Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation
Christopher Gabrieli
CME Group
COGEN Co-working
Community Foundation of Greater Memphis
Community Foundation of New Jersey
Democracy Fund
Donnell-Kay Foundation
Doug and Wendy Kreeger
EdChoice
EDU21C Foundation
Elaine Berman
Eli Lilly and Company Foundation, Inc.
Elizabeth Aybar Conti
Elizabeth Haas Edersheim (In Kind)
Emma Bloomberg
Ford Foundation
Fry Foundation
Fund for Nonprofit News at The Miami Foundation
Gail Klapper
Gates Family Foundation
GEM Foundation
George T. Cameron Education Foundation
Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation partnership with the Knight Foundation
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (In Kind)
J.R. Hyde III Family Foundation Donor Advised Fund of the Community Foundation of Greater Memphis
Jim and Marsha McCormick
Kate Kennedy Reinemund and Jim Kennedy
Ken Hirsh
Kresge Foundation
La Vida Feliz Foundation
Lenfest Community Listening and Engagement Fund
Lilly Endowment Inc.
Maher Foundation
Margulf Foundation
Mark Zurack
Memphis Education Fund
Naomi and Michael Rosenfeld
Overdeck Family Foundation
Debra and Paul Appelbaum
Peter and Carmen L. Buck Foundation
Polk Bros. Foundation
Quinn Family Foundation
Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation
Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation, Inc.
Rick Smith
Rob Gary and Chris Watney
Rob Gary via the Piton Foundation*
Robert J. Yamartino and Maxine Sclar
Robert R. McCormick Foundation
Rose Community Foundation
Scott Gleason of O’Melveny & Myers (In Kind)
Scott Pearl
Silicon Valley Community Foundation
Skift (In Kind)
Spencer Foundation
Steans Family Foundation
Sue Lehmann
Susan Sawyers
Thalla-Marie and Heeten Choxi
The Assisi Foundation
The Anschutz Foundation
The Barton Family Foundation, a donor-advised fund of The Denver Foundation*
The Caswell Jin Foundation
The Colorado Health Foundation
The Colorado Trust
The Crown Family
The Denver Foundation
The Durst Organization (In Kind)
The Glick Fund, a fund of the Central Indiana Community Foundation
The Indianapolis Foundation, a CICF affiliate
The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
The Joyce Foundation
The McGregor Fund
The Moriah Fund
The Skillman Foundation
The Walton Family Foundation
Victoria Foundation
Walentas Foundation Ltd.
Washington Square Legal Services/NYU Business Transactions Clinic (In Kind)
Wend Ventures
Widmeyer, A FinnPartners Company (In Kind)
Will and Christina McConathy*
W.K. Kellogg Foundation
Yoobi (In Kind)

Laura Chapman, retired arts educator and diligent researcher, has created a partial portrait of the privatization movement.

My guess is that the privatization movement consists of a small but significant number of billionaires and several hundred of their lackeys, shills, and front groups. As you will see, it is almost impossible to tell the Republicans from the Democrats.

Laura writes:

I have been building some spreadsheets on who is funding what. There are so many interconnected initiatives that Jeb Bush and friends are part of.

For example. Bush’s projects are connected with another big reform outfit: Partners for Innovation in Education (PIE) an outfit with at least 180 affiliates (in my spreadsheet) all connected to many others and all seeking national, state, and large metro area policies that favor charter school expansion (marketed as innovative), along with Teach for America (mostly on the job training), and active interference with teacher union contracts.

The PIE website still includes a guide for “Rabble Rousers” who were given quidance on how to work on legislated policy changes to favor charters, TFA and privatizers and how to enlist active support from civic and business organizations. It is a guide for lobbying and controlling narratives about education in the press.

The 47-page PIE Rabble Rousers handbook (2010 funded by the Joyce Foundation) includes this statement about the process of changing state policy:

“Most of the groups we spoke with (about shaping state polcies) declined to involve educators on their governing boards; if they did so, those groups do not make up a majority of the governing board. The rationale was clear enough: if the goal is to be a voice for the public’s interest, educator involvement confuses that message. As one group leader explained: “Educators already have the overwhelming voice in our state capital through their various associations. If we brought the interest lobby to our meetings, our discussion would get rutted in the same issues that already complicate the public debate. Our goal is to have a conversation that looks at the issues differently, considering only the students without the adult agendas.” An even blunter explanation was: “We tell our teacher associations that when they invite our leaders to vote on their boards, we will include union representation on ours (p. 32).” http://pie-network.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/rabble-rousers.pdf

Since that 2010 publication, PIE has shifted its strategy to include carefully selected educators. Most are working in charter schools or they have been willing to be indoctrinated into PIE’s agenda. Indocrination is the correct word.

In Oakland, CA, for example, the bait for PIE’s program has been a two-year “fellowship” with $1000 for the first year, and $2000 for the second year for attendance at two-hour meetings twice monthly plus readings and research. (I could not determine if the “year” was a calendar year nine month school year). In a series of tasks, the Oakland Fellows were given preferred data about their union to think about, along with model language for changes.

There are similar programs in multiple metro areas and states, with teachers working as if hired hands of PIE, token payments or emblems of prestige by virtue of becoming “fellows” or “ambassadors.”

Here is a list of organizations and financial supporters of “teacher voice” in the PIE Network–all recruiting teachers to advocate for policies favoring TFA, charters, and dismantlying unions and more under the banner of “innovation.”

Advance Illinois “Every Student World Ready”; Chalk Board Project; Ed Allies (Minnesota); Educators for High Standards; Go Public Schools (Oakland CA); Hope Street Group (multiple states); National Network of Teachers of the Year (NNSTOY, nominated by governors of states and celebrated by the Council of Chief State School Officers); Rodel Foundation of Delaware; State Collaborative on Reforming Education (SCORE, Tennessee); Stand for Children Louisiana; Teach Strong (National, with one year “ambassadors” who lobby politicians), Educators for Excellence (in Boston, Chicago, Connecticut, Los Angeles , Minnesota, New York); Teach Plus (in California, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts); and Texas Aspires.

PIE Board members are powerbrokers. Many are veterans of reformy projects to undermine public education through draconian standard-setting, exemptions for and expansions of charter schools, and killing collective bargaining by teachers.
1. Derrell Bradford, Executive VP of 50CAN, recruits state executive directors, fellows, and YouCAN advocates; known for leadership of legislated tenure reform in New Jersey.
2. Rachael Canter, Executive Dir. and co-founder of Mississippi First. Two years Teach for America; successfully lobbied for Mississippi Charter Schools Act of 2013.
3. Jonah Edelman, co-founder and CEO of Stand for Children Leadership Center and Stand For Children with affiliates in 11 states (Edelman is son of civil rights activist and lawyer Marian Wright Edelman). A political scholar (Ph.D Oxford, Yale) with deep family connections to the Democratic Party. SFC works for privatization with major funding from the Gates and Walton foundations among others. Major promoter of Read-by-Grade-Three policy.
4. Chris Korsmo, CEO of the League of Education Voters, backed by The Broad Foundation and supporters of projects to undermine teacher unions.
5. Scott Laband, President of Colorado Succeeds, coalition of business executives for corporate friendly education, including school policies that subsidize workforce preparation.
6. Patricia Levesque, CEO Foundation for Excellence. Was Jeb Bush’s Chief of Staff for education promoting corporate friendly education, six years as Staff Director for education policy in the Florida.
7. Lillian M. Lowery, Ed.D. V.P. of Ed Trust’s PreK-12 Policy, Research, and Practice, former state superintendent of schools in Maryland and state secretary of education in Delaware.
8. Nina Rees, President and CEO of National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, first Deputy Under Secretary for Innovation and Improvement, U.S. Department of Education.
9. Aimee Rogstad Guidera, former president and CEO of the Gates-funded Data Quality Campaign for enganced surveillance of K-12 school and “teacher of record” performance, with a variant tracking workforce outcomes of pre-K to post-seconfary workforce outcomes.
10. Evan Stone, Co-CEO and Co-Founder in 2010 of Educators for Excellence. Yale University thesis on No Child Left Behind in urban school systems, Master degree in teaching, Pace University.
11. Suzanne Kubach, Executive Dir. PIE Network. Appointed to California State Board of Education, former Chair of Los Angeles Charter School Board. Ph.D. in Education Policy, University of Southern California.
12. Tim Taylor, co-founder and Executive Dir. America Succeeds, founder of Colorado Succeeds, seeking corporate friendly policies.
13. Jamie Woodson, Tennessee State Collaborative on Reforming Education (SCORE), Former legislative leader for expansion of Tennessee’s public charter schools. J.D., the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

And that is just for starters. What “innovative policies” are being marketed in your state, by whom, and why?

Joanne Barkan has written several brilliant essays about the billionaires who use their philanthropies to undermine democracy and public education.

This is one of her best.

She writes:

“For a dozen years, big philanthropy has been funding a massive crusade to remake public education for low-income and minority children in the image of the private sector. If schools were run like businesses competing in the market—so the argument goes—the achievement gap that separates poor and minority students from middle-class and affluent students would disappear. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation, and the Walton Family Foundation have taken the lead, but other mega-foundations have joined in to underwrite the self-proclaimed “education reform movement.” Some of them are the Laura and John Arnold, Anschutz, Annie E. Casey, Michael and Susan Dell, William and Flora Hewlett, and Joyce foundations.

“Each year big philanthropy channels about $1 billion to “ed reform.” This might look like a drop in the bucket compared to the $525 billion or so that taxpayers spend on K–12 education annually. But discretionary spending—spending beyond what covers ordinary running costs—is where policy is shaped and changed. The mega-foundations use their grants as leverage: they give money to grantees who agree to adopt the foundations’ pet policies. Resource-starved states and school districts feel compelled to say yes to millions of dollars even when many strings are attached or they consider the policies unwise. They are often in desperate straits.

“Most critiques of big philanthropy’s current role in public education focus on the poor quality of the reforms and their negative effects on schooling—on who controls schools, how classroom time is spent, how learning is measured, and how teachers and principals are evaluated. The harsh criticism is justified. But to examine the effect of big philanthropy’s ed-reform work on democracy and civil society requires a different focus. Have the voices of “stakeholders”—students, their parents and families, educators, and citizens who support public education—been strengthened or weakened? Has their involvement in public decision-making increased or decreased? Has their grassroots activity been encouraged or stifled? Are politicians more or less responsive to them? Is the press more or less free to inform them? According to these measures, big philanthropy’s involvement has undoubtedly undermined democracy and civil society.

“The best way to show this is to describe how mega-foundations actually operate on the ground and how the public has responded. What follows are reports on a surreptitious campaign to generate support for a foundation’s teaching reforms, a project to create bogus grassroots activity to increase the number of privately managed charter schools, the effort to exert influence by making grant money contingent on a specific person remaining in a specific public office, and the practice of paying the salaries of public officials hired to implement ed reforms.

“You Can’t Fool All of the People All of the Time

“The combination of aggressive style, controversial programs, and abundant money has led some mega-foundations into the world of “astroturfing.” This is political activity designed to appear unsolicited and rooted in a local community without actually being so. Well-financed astroturfing suffocates authentic grassroots activity by defining an issue and occupying the space for organizing. In addition, when astroturfers confront grassroots opposition, the astroturfers have an overwhelming advantage because of their resources. Sometimes, however, a backlash flares up when community members realize that paid outsiders are behind a supposedly local campaign.”

Barkan describes the Parent Trigger Law, which was financed by billionaires to enable low-income parents to take control of their schools and turn it over to a charter operator. The money was used to send organizers into low-income communities, create discord, and persuade parents to sign petitions. “The process was bound to divide communities, and it was open to abuse and outside manipulation. But most important, the law destroyed the democratic nature of public education. This year’s parents don’t have the right to close down a public school or give it away to a private company any more than this year’s users of a public park can decide to pave it over or name a private company to run it with tax dollars (see Diane Ravitch, Reign of Error, 2013). Voters—directly or through their elected officials—decide on and pay for public institutions in a democracy.”

In retrospect, Parent Trigger was a bust. Seven years and many millions of dollars later, only one or two schools were charterized. And there have been no studies of whether it made a difference. The billionaires did get a hardworking Mexican-American principal fired, and almost every member of her staff left with her in protest. What a waste.

Barkan writes that the most grievous misdeed of the billionaires is their assault on democracy. If they can’t get what they want through normal channels, they use their resources to buy what they want.

“Philanthropies risk losing their tax-exempt status if they donate directly to candidates for public office, so some foundations have tried other ways to ensure they have the people they want in key posts.

“The Los Angeles–based Broad Foundation stipulated in the contract for a $430,000 grant to New Jersey’s Board of Education that Governor Chris Christie remain in office. As the Star-Ledger reported (December 13, 2012), the Newark-based Education Law Center had forced the release of the contract through the state’s Open Public Records Act. For the center’s executive director, David Sciarra, “It is a foundation driving public educational policy that should be set by the Legislature.” The Broad Foundation’s senior communications director responded, “[W]e consider the presence of strong leaders to be important when we hand over our dollars.”

“The foundation sector will fight reform ferociously—as it has in the past. When asked to forgo some influence or contribute more in taxes, the altruistic impulse stalls.

“The keep-Chris-Christie clause was not the first time a staffing prerequisite was discovered in a grant contract with a public entity. In 2010 Washington, D.C. schools chancellor Michelle Rhee negotiated promises for $64.5 million in grants from the Broad, Walton, Robertson, and Arnold foundations. Rhee planned to use part of the money to finance a proposed five-year, 21.6 percent increase in teachers’ base salary. In exchange she demanded that the union give her more control over evaluating and firing teachers and allow bonus pay for teachers who raised student test scores.

“In March 2010 the foundations sent separate letters to Rhee stating that they reserved the right to withdraw their money if she left. They also required that the teachers ratify the proposed contract (Washington Post, April 28, 2010). Critics challenged not only the heavy-handed intrusion into an acrimonious contract negotiation but also the legality of the stipulation on Rhee: hadn’t she negotiated a grant deal that served her own employment interests? The teachers ratified the contract, but the extremely unpopular Rhee resigned in October 2010 after Mayor Adrian Fenty, who had hired her, lost the Democratic mayoral primary. By that time, much of the grant money had been spent, and the new schools chancellor kept Rhee’s policies.

“Private foundations have used another tactic to exert influence on the Los Angeles Unified School District: they paid the salaries of more than a dozen senior staffers. According to the Los Angeles Times (December 16, 2009), the privately financed “public” employees worked on such ed-reform projects as new systems to evaluate teachers and collect immense amounts of data on students. Much of the money came from the Wasserman Foundation ($4.4 million) and the Walton Family Foundation ($1.2 million); Ford and Hewlett made smaller grants. The Broad Foundation covered the $160,000 salary of Matt Hill to run the district’s Public School Choice program, which turned so-called low-performing and new schools over to private operators. Hill had worked in Black & Decker’s business development group before he went through one of the Broad Foundation’s uncertified programs to train new education administrators. A Times editorial on January 12, 2010 asked, sensibly, “At what point do financial gifts begin reshaping public decision-making to fit a private agenda?…Even the best-intentioned gifts have a way of shifting behavior. Educators and the public, not individual philanthropists, should set the agenda for schools.”

The Plutocrats want to abolish public control of public education. They have sponsored one failed “reform” after another.

They never learn.

Laura Chapman writes here about the beast that wants to Destroy Public Education, which has many names:

Many of these schemes are part of the Education Cities initiative. I may have commented about this before.

About Education Cities: FUNDERS Laura and John Arnold foundation, Michael and Susan Dell Foundation, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, and Walton Family Foundation.

PARTNERS

“Education Cities works with leading organizations to help our members achieve their missions.”

“Bellwether Education Partners works with Education Cities on research and capacity building projects. Bellwether is a nonprofit dedicated to helping education organizations—in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors—become more effective in their work and achieve dramatic results, especially for high-need students.”

In Cincinnati, Bellwether was the recruiter for the “Accelerate Great Schools,” initiative that seemed to have appeared out of nowhere, pushed by high profile local foundations and deep pockets in the business community—all intent on marketing the need for “high quality seats” meaning you close and open schools based on the state’s weapon-ized system of rating schools. You also increase charter schools and hire TFA. (We have a TFA alum on the school board). The CEO of Accelerate Great Schools recruited by Bellwether was a TFA manager from MindTrust in Indianapolis. He lasted about 18 months and accelerated himself to a new job. http://www.cincinnati.com/story/news/education/2017/01/24/ceo-quietly-quits-school-accelerator/96997612/

“Center on Reinventing Public Education (CRPE) at the University of Washington partners with Education Cities to analyze and identify policies that create the conditions that allow great schools to thrive. Through research and policy analysis, CRPE seeks ways to make public education more effective, especially for America’s disadvantaged students.”

CRPE should be regarded as an operational arm of the Gates Foundation. It marketed the Gates “Compacts.” These are MOUs (memoranda of understanding) designed to create a “make-nice-with-your-charter schools who want to have you for lunch.” The MOUs mean that districts agree to give central office resources to charters (e.g., deals on meals and transportation) with charters promising to share their “best practices” and other nonsense. The bait to districts included $100,000 up front with the promise of more money to the district if they met x, y, z, terms of the MOU. Only few districts got extra money. Many reasons, some obvious like the departure of the people who signed the MOUs.

“Public Impact” partners with Education Cities (and Bellwether Education Partners) on research and capacity building projects. With a mission to dramatically improve learning outcomes for all children in the United States, Public Impact concentrates its work on creating the conditions in which great schools can thrive. The Opportunity Culture initiative aims to extend the reach of excellent teachers and their teams to more students, for more pay, within recurring budgets. Public Impact, a national research and consulting firm, launched the Opportunity Culture initiative’s implementation phase in 2011, with funding from The Joyce Foundation, Carnegie Corporation of New York and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.” Current work is funded by the Overdeck Family Foundation and the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation.”

Get past the self-aggrandizing rhetoric and you see that Public Impact is marketing 13 school turnaround models, almost all of these with reassignments of teachers and students to accommodate “personalized” something. One arm of the “opportunity culture” website is a job placement service for teachers. In prior USDE administrations, Public Impact and Bellwether worked together to get federal support for charter schools.Both have political clout.

“Thomas B. Fordham Institute partners with Education Cities to analyze and identify policies and practices that create the conditions that allow great schools to thrive. The Thomas B. Fordham Institute works to advance educational excellence for every child through research, analysis, and commentary, as well as on-the-ground action and advocacy in Ohio.”

Well, we have a pretty good idea in Ohio of how all of that pontification worked out.

Here are the cities in the foundation-led move to eliminate democratically elected school boards and fold public schools into a portfolio of contract schools that receive public funds but are privately operated. At one time the number of Education Cities was 30, then 28, now 25.

Albuquerque, NM, Excellent Schools New Mexico
Baton Rouge, LA New Schools for Baton Rouge
Boise, ID Bluum
Boston, MA Boston Schools Fund, Empower Schools
Chicago, IL, New Schools for Chicago
Cincinnati, OH, Accelerate Great Schools
Denver, CO, Gates Family Foundation, Donnell-Kay Foundation
Detroit, MI, The Skillman Foundation
Indianapolis, IN, The Mind Trust
Kansas City, MO, Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation
Las Vegas, NV, Opportunity 180
Los Angeles, CA, Great Public Schools Now
Memphis, TN, Memphis Education Fund
Minneapolis, MN, Minnesota Comeback
Nashville, TN, Project Renaissance
New Orleans, LA, New Schools for New Orleans
Oakland, CA, Educate78, Great Oakland Public Schools Leadership Center, Rogers Family Foundation
Philadelphia, PA, Philadelphia School Partnership
Phoenix, AZ, New Schools for Phoenix
Richmond, CA, Chamberlin Family Foundation
Rochester, NY, E3 Rochester
San Jose, CA, Innovate Public Schools
Washington, DC, Education Forward DC, CityBridge Education

These cities have been targeted by national and local non-profits for capture by promoters of choice, charters, and tech. This is a national effort designed to make school “reform” look like it is a local initiative, inspired by generosity and driven by civic values and “partnerships” in combination with “forward thinking” associated with a chamber of commerce campaign. Look at the names of these initiatives; New Schools, Education Forward, Comeback, Renaissance, and so on. Marketing market-based and corporate managed education is the aim and it is sought by pushing the idea that established public schools are failures

You may be familiar with an education news site called The 74. It was founded by Campbell Brown, the strident critic of unions and public schools and teachers. It now owns a website in Los Angeles called LA School Report and another called Top Sheet.

Ever wonder where the money comes from? Billionaires, of course, including billionaires who are hostile to unions and public schools. One regular contributor to The 74 is Peter Cunningham, who was Assistant Secretary for Communications (public relations) for Arne Duncan. Cunningham is editor of a website called Education Post, which is funded by some of the same billionaires, including Eli Broad, the Walton Family, Bill & Melinda Gates, the Emerson Collective (Laurene Powell Jobs), the Joyce Foundation, and Michael Bloomberg. In a recent post at The 74, he aligned his own views with those of Betsy DeVos, one of the funders of The 74. On the issue of privatization, school choice, charters, and vouchers, there is no longer any distance between the education policies of the Obama administration and those of the Trump administration. What a strange world. Sad.

Despite the many millions poured into these websites, I venture to guess that they have fewer readers than the blogs written by teachers like Anthony Cody, Julian Vasquez Heilig, Jose Vilson, Steve Singer, Mercedes Schneider, Gary Rubinstein, Arthur Goldstein, Paul Thomas, Leonie Haimson, Peter Greene, the BadAss Teachers, and yours truly. None of our blogs are underwritten by billionaires or millionaires. We write because we believe that the destruction of public schools is wrong.

In case you ever wondered who supports The 74 and its related entities, here is a screen shot:

Laura Chapman posted this comment, which I hope you will read:

Readers should know that GreatSchools.org website supports redlining. This is a non-profit website and organization in name only. Zillow, for example, pays a fee to lease all of the data and the ratings of schools. Specific schools can pay a fee to steer users to their websites.

The following supporters of redlining via the great schools website are not friends of public schools. They want to preserve schools and communities that are segregated by income, race, ethnicity, ownership of major assets (e.g., homes, automobiles), access to public services and amenities (e.g., public parks, libraries).

These supporters of segregation hide their agenda under a lot of rhetoric about saving children from failing schools. Wrong. These are the billionaires who are determined to misrepresent and undermine schools and neighborhoods through the irresponsible use of school “performance data,” especially scores on state standardized tests and more recently spurious surveys about school climate, the physical appearance of the school, and usually anonymous “customer” satisfaction ratings.

Major supporters of this redlining website are (logo displayed): Walton Family Foundation, Laura and John Arnold Foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Carnegie Corporation of New York, Einhorn Family Charitable Trust; The Leona M and Harry B Helmsley Charitable Trust,
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

Other supporters: The Charles Hayden Foundation; Charles and Helen Schwab Foundation; Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation; David and Lucile Packard Foundation; Heising-Simons Foundation; The Joyce Foundation; Excellent Schools Detroit; The Kern Family Foundation; The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation; The Ralph M. Parsons Foundation;

Four other supporters of this website that forwards redlining sould be noted

America Achieves now calls itself “a non-profit accelerator” of large-scale system-wide change in public education. Achieve was and is the major promoter of the Common Core, college and career agenda, and associated tests. Achieve is funded by the Laura and John Arnold Foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Charles Butt, the Heckscher Foundation For Children, the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the George Kaiser Family Foundation, the Kern Family Foundation, the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation (among others).
EdChoice is the updated name for the Milton Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice. EdChoice wants market-based education, unlimited choice, but subsidized by tax dollars–The DeVos/Trump policy.
Innovate Public Schools is a California-based national organization that uses GreatSchools reports to promote “new” school formation, especially charter schools, through extensive parent “fellowships” and training.
Startup:Education is a grantmaking project of the Chan/Zuckerberg Initiative founded by Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan. Everything promoted by Start;Up Education and the larger Chan/Zuckerberg initiative is tech-based and mislabeled personalized learning.

There are other commercial supporters of the website. They pay fees for advertising space and market a range of products called “educational.”